So I went to a very tiny library for the first time ever. Library was so tiny that the only book by Chuck Palahniuk was Haunted. (They only had three...moreSo I went to a very tiny library for the first time ever. Library was so tiny that the only book by Chuck Palahniuk was Haunted. (They only had three Stephen King books shelved!)I was hoping to find Choke or Diary as my cherry-popping experience with Chuck Palahniuk. Alas, I made due with Haunted which I've heard nothing about prior to the day I started reading it.
Since then I read that the first short story was actually featured in Playboy.
Also, my brother said he heard during the public readings of this novel, people actually threw up.
Anyway, I did write down a few quotations into my reading journal:
"War. Starvation. Plague. They fast-track us to enlightenment."
"It's the mark of a very, very young soul to try and fix the world. TO try and save anyone from their ration of misery."
"In our secret heart's heart, we love to root against the hometeam. Against humanity. It's us against us. You, the victim of yourself."
"We're born to suffer. The irony is if you can accept that- you'll never again suffer."
"The same mistakes we made as cavemen, we still make... Maybe we're living the exact way we're meant to live."
"We have pain and hate and love and joy and war in the world because we want them. And we want all that drama to prepare us for the test of facing death, someday."
"The difference between how you look and how you see yourself is enough to kill most people."
Comprised of 24 short stories, the novel is basically a collection of very grotesque tales depicting a wide range of gore not excluding cannibalism, self-mutilation, rape, throat slitting, sodomy, you name it, Palahniuk wrote it. Each story was written by one of the 24 striving writers in the novel. All lured by the same writer's retreat ad. The stories got kind of ridiculous. Too over the top. Too sensational. Eventually, I got a little tired and a little bored with it. It could also be I found the novel tried too hard to tie in the idea that we are our own victims. We're our own worst enemies. We cut off our own toes and lock ourselves in a our hell. Blah blah, we get it. I was disappointed because the premise of the book had so much potential. Writers trapped by a sadistic young young old old man. So much you could do with that! After a few chapters I started to see it wasn't really going anywhere. Gah. I give it 2 stars.
P.S. I must say the first story grossed me out the most and also happened to be my favorite. Amazingly disgusting. If you were going to pick up this novel, I recommend just skimming and picking out some of the short stories to read on its own. Read the first one fo sho. (less)
So I started Kite Runner two nights ago after finishing Blink. It took me a week or so with Blink since I wasn’t very enthralled, making it easier to...moreSo I started Kite Runner two nights ago after finishing Blink. It took me a week or so with Blink since I wasn’t very enthralled, making it easier to put it down at night when it was my bed time.
Kite Runner, I started over a long weekend and could not for the life of me put it down. I was so hooked I even found myself reading Bing’s copy when I was over at Deesh and Bing’s this weekend playing an invigorating (and might I add victorious) game of girls vs. boys Cranium and then Cheez Geek (Cheez Geek one of the 3 new things this week).
The Kite Runner. Must be the most disturbing, haunting book I’ve yet to read. The close seconds would be A Child Called It and Night. They both broke my heart but not in the way Kite Runner did. I was in tears maybe four separate times during the past two days it took me to finish the novel. A coming of age story with pre–war Afganhistan and the post-Taliban arrival as the backdrop of the story.
I tend to take note of books I know my dad will enjoy and as I read them I jot down notes on post its for my dad and flag the relevant pages. I flagged the story about Amir and Hassen tying bumble bees with string and letting them fly a bit before yanking them back. My dad used to do exactly the same thing to dragonflies when he was younger growing up in Vietnam. Then as I got deeper and deeper into the book and found myself tearing up, I started to doubt whether my dad, a vet would enjoy going down memory lane. I took breaks and called Mary Ellen to relay the story and basically to pull me out a little. Relief.
The refugee stories seem to make vivid my parents’ stories post Vietnam.
I kept imagining I was reading about my dad. Funny how war is pretty much the same no matter where it is. I usually don’t read war books so this is somewhat new to me. Before Kite Runner, the only books I’ve read with war in the background were Anne Frank’s diary, The Hiding Place, and Night. All heart breaking in their own respect but I never felt so invested in events unfolding with each turn of the page as I did with Kite Runner.
So aside from making me cry so easily, Hosseini also managed to make me laugh several times out loud. One scene when Amir, in such a detached manner, thinks to himself as someone is experiencing an eye injury, “Oh that’s vitreous fluid.. I read about that, that’s vitreous fluid.” I used to work for an ophthalmologist.
So here are a few quotes I jotted down into my reading journal…
“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft..”
“If there’s a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend to than my drinking Scotch or eating pork.”
“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.”
“We plucked the stinger off a bee and tied a string around the poor thing and yanked it back every time it took flight.”
“John Wayne didn’t really speak Farsi and he wasn’t Iranian.”
“And the beggars were mostly children now, thin and grim-faced, some no older than five or six. They sat in the laps of their burque-clad mothers alongside gutters at busy street corners… Hardly any of them sat with an adult male- the war had made fathers a rare commodity in Afghanistan.”
“Returning to Kabul was like running into an old, forgotten friend, and seeing that life hadn’t been good to him, that he’d become homeless and destitute.”
‘I’m so afraid…. Because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening. They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you.”
I wrote the last one down because that’s how I feel when I feel very happy. I get extra wary of freak accidents.
“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up and slipping away unannounced in t(less)
- He becomes a professional wrestler in the book, called The Dunce - He and Jenny have substantial relationship in t...moreDifferences between book and movie:
- He becomes a professional wrestler in the book, called The Dunce - He and Jenny have substantial relationship in the book. He screwed it up twice. HIM not Jenny. - He smokes pot in the book. - Goes to space in the book. - Befriends an orangutan in book. - Jenny does not get sick and die. - She gets married to someone else while pregnant with Forrest's baby. - He met Bubba in college on football team. - Forrest never says "Stupid is as Stupid does." - Never says "Life is a box of chocolates...." - Does say "I got to pee." 9320532095 times in the book. - Plays chess in book. - Football got him into school, not his mom whoring herself out. - Jenny does not get molested by her father. You never meet her father. Her mother is as far as we know, a wholesome figure in both Jenny's and Forrest's life.
I didn’t know F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Did you? I finished this story in about 2 hours tops. I saw the movie a coupl...moreI didn’t know F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Did you? I finished this story in about 2 hours tops. I saw the movie a couple of weekends ago with Katambra. We loved it. The movie was ADORABLE, all the way through, adorable. I love the old man C-list character that got struck by lightening 7 times. So I was excited to start reading the book. After reading, I found myself preferring the movie over the book which I rarely ever do.
The book wasn’t very descriptive. It went over 50 plus years of Benjamin Button with a few sentences each for each phase of his life. I guess that is why the movie had so much room to digress and flesh out. In the movie, Benjamin was left on a doorsteps of a cute Black lady who ran a nursing home. She cared for him as if he was her son. In the book the father never gave him up.
What won me over to the movie and turned me off towards the book was that Benjamin met his love in the movie at age 7 with him looking elderly. It was a coming of age story about the two of them with tons of hit and misses. They finally meet in the middle and he eventually leaves her after they have a baby together. He thought it was the best thing for his love since he didn’t want to have her raise her husband as he gets younger and their child at the same time.
In the book however, he meets the girl later and as he grows younger and better looking, he gets embarrassed and turned off from his wife because she gets older and uglier. My heart sank as I read that.
Very original idea though. I liked the the story enough to make me want to reread Great Gatsby. I only remember one scene from Gatsby. It’s where Nick criticizes Daisy for being a bad driver (like I am) and she responds that it only matters if she runs into another bad driver. (less)
**spoiler alert** Miles from Nowhere is Nami Mun’s debut novel about a 13 year-old Korean girl named Joon living in New York. Her adulterous father le...more**spoiler alert** Miles from Nowhere is Nami Mun’s debut novel about a 13 year-old Korean girl named Joon living in New York. Her adulterous father left and her mother could not cope. She decides to leave her mom and the rest of the novel follows her for the next 5 years through a shelter, an escort club, homelessness, drug addiction, a job selling makeup, and finally ends on a hopeful note. It’s written elegantly and instantly I’m already wanting to recommend this book to Kim. Only because I know she enjoyed Perks of being a Wallflower and this has that same feeling of tragic hope. Joon goes through all these hard, ugly experiences and she still somehow has a childlike and naive desire for hope. The desire shrinks and expands through out this novel but would never completely shrink away. I think that’s sweet.
Overall, it was simply written which makes the prose easy to read. It’s pretty fluid. However, the content can be pretty hard and ugly. That said, I feel Nami Mun gave the content beauty by giving Joon resilience, hope, and gumption. I like my girls with gumption.
Two Excerpts “Hope was based on the unknown, and I liked knowing things. Like that I was going to fail. Failure had better odds. You could depend on it.”
“He had no idea that grief was a reward. That it only came to those who were loyal, to those who loved more than they were capable of. He had a garage, full of her belongings, and all I had was my guilt. It took on its own shape and smell and nestled in the pit of my body, and it would sleep and play and walk with me for decades to come.”